How Rotterdam has its own ideas on ents and dwarves

Rotterdam, Nieuwe Maas
Rotterdam, Nieuwe Maas

The Tolkienist’s Tour of the Netherlands which took place on April 12, 2014 brought me to four lovely cities – Maastricht, Rotterdam, Leiden and Geldrop. This was my first visit to Rotterdam and I am now quite convinced all the Dutch friends and colleagues who I had asked beforehand were absolutely right: this is a place to visit.

I had only one hour in Rotterdam and there really wasn’t much else I could do but walk down straight from the Centraal Station up to the Nieuwe Maas and have a quick look around. It really is a vibrant city, renowned for its fascinating, unusual and downright weird architecture, full of art, busy as a beehive. I loved the vibe and do hope I can come back for a longer stay soon. I definitely have to catch up on my Dutch 🙂

Now, two monuments caught my attention. This one shows an interesting concept of dwarf:


If you would like to find about more about this infamous ‘gnome’ have a look at Deborah Harms’ blog post. And no, I didn’t know about it before.

And this one really gets me thinking about the role of ents and huorns.


This is quite an interesting sculpture as it was installed in 2001 – and taking a picture in it in 2014 shows out it has come to interact with the living trees around it. It is called ‘Elevazione‘ and was done by Italian artist Guiseppe Penone.

And that was the furthest I came in my walk through Rotterdam, always accompanied by my trusted companion, Fandalf.


This is the way I took down to the riverbank. Please don’t tell me I took the worst way ever when first visiting this beautiful city. 😉 Give me some advice for next time in the comments.

Marcel R. Bülles

A Tolkien fan for thirty years (and more to come...) Founding chairman of the German Tolkien Society, Co-Founder of Ring*Con, Co-Founder of the ITF, host, presenter and fantasy expert